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KHAR, Oct 6: Security forces backed by tanks and artillery advanced towards Lowi Sam, a militant stronghold in the Bajaur tribal region, on Monday after destroying their sanctuaries and consolidating their position in the Rashakai area.

In Khazana, six militants were killed in a fierce clash with Frontier Corps.

In a statement issued in Peshawar, FC authorities said that the militants “wearing militia uniforms” had occupied a house. Sources said that troops had established several checkpoints and cleared one and a half kilometre stretch between Rashakai and Lowi Sam of mines and other types of explosives. Militants’ positions in other areas were also attacked.

The sources also said that the militants were firing on troops from their positions.

Several rocket-propelled grenade launchers and pistols and Afghan currency notes were seized during a mop-up operation.

A lashkar of the Mamond tribe destroyed houses of four Taliban ‘commanders’ in Sewai.

Militants had set up courts and ‘offices’ after declaring the Mamond area their regional ‘headquarters’.

Assistant Political Agent Jamil Khan told Dawn that the lashkar was determined to wipe out militants from the area. He said that the administration was monitoring the situation and helping the volunteers in their campaign.

Meanwhile, Salarzai tribesmen have convened a jirga to consider the possibility of raising a lashkar like the one formed in the Charmang area.

An official said that 25 Afghans had been arrested. He said a large number of Afghans had left the area.